One of my first posts on this site was about integrating your marketing.
Put simply, [integrated marketing] is combining every form of advertising and communication into one strategy, spread across various forms of media. – You can read the full story here
I used various examples from combining different social media avenues to direct mail.
Some people might take the online only approach; that is focusing on seo, social media engagement, blogging and search engine marketing. All of that is vital and necessary to get found online for sure. But how does basic print fit into an increasingly online world? As much as it would be easy to ignore print, you would miss out on some amazing opportunities to use the good old fashioned ink on paper.
There are many large companies that still use print/direct mail very successfully. Companies like Disney, Time Warner Cable, Best Buy, and Target all use direct mail (and personalized direct mail). Despite what most people may think, direct mail still has an acquisition rate of 34%. This is an edge over email marketing (25%), SEM (10%) and affiliate marketing (8%).
If you want an even better return on your direct mail, use handwritten envelopes. You can bypass the gatekeeper and get your piece in the right hands. Generally the handwritten envelope has an open rate of 80-95%. That’s pretty good, I’d say.
Here are some other ideas to use print in some creative ways:
- Use print for some social interaction. Heineken used this in probably the best way I’ve ever seen.
- Posters that do cool stuff. The BBC reported last year on a process using conductive inks that would play a music clip when a “button” on the printed poster is touched.
- Use some augmented reality in your print advertising. AR is slowly getting some traction so the chances your competition is using AR is slim. Be one of the early adopters and win at life.
- As with online marketing, content is king. However, because your printed piece has more staying power than a banner ad or facebook link, your message can be seen multiple times. Even if the recipient doesn’t act on the message right away, chances are if the content resonates with them, they’ll keep your printed material until they’re ready to jump on your call to action.
- Think outside the box with specialty printing. If you spend some time looking around your environments, you can find what others might be doing that you could either take advantage of or twist to do better. Coffee cup sleeves, table tents, perforated vinyl window decals, plastic coated coupon direct mail cards, are all decent options, but if you use your creativity, you could come up with some amazing new print marketing.
The trick to really good print marketing is consistency, great content, quality printing, creative uses and follow up. What other print marketing ideas can you share? Put them in your comments below.
Don’t ignore print as part of your marketing strategy. You’ll be missing out on some unique opportunities to engage in ways online marketing can’t.